Posts Tagged ‘castles’

Castles in England

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010


One of the reasons I loved England so much was that it felt like I had walked into a storybook. Castles played a great part of that dreamy atmosphere. I’ve probably entered around thirty castles in my life, most of them in England. Some have been mere ruins, just a skeleton of what they used to be. Others were entire, basically identical to what they were hundreds of years ago. I’ve seen castles in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe. But wherever you go in England, there is probably a castle nearby.

Warwick Castle is close to Stratford-upon-Avon. It looks like a classic castle from any fairy tale you’ve imagined, with turrets surrounding the entire castle top. You can walk around the castle walls, looking down on the beautiful town, full of thatched cottages and beautiful green countryside. The rooms have been set up with period furniture and even wax figures dressed as they would have been when the castle was functional. The main feasting hall has beautiful tapestries on the stone walls and full suits of armor displayed around the room. A huge fireplace is situated in the middle of the room on one side. There is even a dungeon underneath the castle.


The second traditional-looking castle that I love in England is Windsor Castle, which is close to London. You can see it from the Thames River if you travel by boat. Once again, there are walls surrounding the entire castle where you can walk and see the view from above. Inside the castle walls you will find a church with stained glass windows. Most castles have a room that serves as a chapel, but other castles have an entire small cathedral inside their walls. Period furniture decorates each room, and rich red curtains hang from the windows. The ceilings are ornate. Beautiful paintings adorn the walls.


Alnwick Castle is the third castle I’d like to mention. It is found in Northumbria, which is in the northeastern part of England. It is asymmetrical, which makes it more interesting. The grand staircase at the entrance looks magnificent. Rich reds and golds decorate the wallpaper and rugs of many of the rooms, and a huge mirror with gold engravings hangs over one of the fireplaces. Castles generally have a fireplace in every room, since a stone house is freezing cold. The castle library has two floors of leather-bound books, a joy to anyone who is a book connoisseur.


All three of these castles in England are a full experience: from the outside looking at the entire castle, to the inside, with rooms set up as they would have been when the castles were functional, to beautiful vistas as seen from the top of the castle walls. Whichever way you look at them, you are entering a dreamy fairy-tale land where a knight in shining armor and a princess gallop off on a horse into the sunset.